Two Sunsets over Candlewood Lake

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Regarding photography, a friend once casually remarked, “Sunsets get boring after a while. They all end up looking the same.” Well, sometimes you capture one or two that are especially pretty.

Sunset over Candlewood Lake
June 20, 2018
New Milford, Connecticut, USA

 

Sunset over Candlewood Lake
June 21, 2018
New Milford, Connecticut, USA
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Mars conjunct Pluto in Capricorn (Thursday, April 26, 2018)

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Victor Brauner, Weaning of the Ego, 1949

Mars conjunct Pluto in Capricorn (Thursday, April 26, 2018)

Capricorn is the authority of the Zodiac. The vigorous path of the warrior is molded by the discipline of Capricorn’s will upon our lives. Whether we think we know what is the right thing to do or not, this sign shows us the way one way or another. Although often regarded in a harsh light, Capricorn brings out the best in us through test upon test, even if that means letting go of things that might mean a lot to us. Because what might mean a lot to us may not necessarily be what we should be doing or following on our path. This is why it can seem harsh or cold.

The father, the teacher, the law, the bank…it may be divine authority or artificial authority. And it is tricky to know if some of our beliefs, actions, decisions, or desires are acceptable and worthy of hanging on to, because what might seem perfectly fine according to our belief system may not be fine according to man-made laws and regulations. The same is true the other way around. It may be fine to drink a lot, smoke a lot, eat a lot…but higher powers step in and awaken us to our health problems through ruptures in whatever facet of our lives we are not aligning ourselves to. This is why Capricorn is equated with Karma.

Take a moment to think about what is not working in your life right now. Is something out of alignment? Are you wondering if what you are doing isn’t good for you? It is highly likely that most of us are experiencing some form of change in our lives, perhaps big changes. These transits are difficult to navigate and understand. Sometimes the best counsel is to just learn to flow with them and make whatever changes are necessary, but it isn’t always this easy. These transits may be aligning with other planets or luminaries in our chart and wreaking havoc upon our lives. We may be feeling upside down or inside out, not knowing which way the wind is blowing even if it’s making our eyes water. Take heed! There is a message in that wind and that message is change. We must crawl deep into our own womb of discontent and listen carefully to our inner child to determine what changes need to be made and why.

Mars and Pluto are both associated with Scorpio, the sign of deep waters, deep emotions, deep secrets, deep fears. Pluto is the harbinger of limitations and death, though not necessarily physical death. Instead, it brings roadblocks so we can learn more empowering routes to redemption and greater achievement. The path we follow can grow old and monotonous with little veering or adjustments being made. Pluto will put something we don’t understand in front of us to steer us onto a new road; a road of greatness and growth. But be careful you don’t resist the limitation with force or malice or neglect! With Pluto and Mars in Capricorn, we are called to duty, responsibility, and discipline of the highest degree. Work is imperative if we are to succeed, grow stronger, and triumph on our paths.

Mars is the original ruler of Scorpio, the lower octave, if you will. It is the driving force behind the will of the sign. It is the strength, determination, and action needed in order to triumph. What we stand up for, what we believe in in the depths of our beings with all our soul’s essence; that is Mars. At times we can grow complacent, lackluster, mundane, even bored with life. Perhaps feeling like nothing matters. Mars is the fire in the root of our spine. It is the driving force of nature that bursts new life into being. It is the threshold, the birthing, the beginning of all things. This is why it is often the catalyst of change without thought. It doesn’t think, it does. Sometimes with dire consequences. Take heed of the wise counsel Capricorn bestows upon us with Mars in this placement, because if we don’t, we can skip the steps needed to take RIGHT action. Patience and perseverance are as valuable as the determination and will needed to achieve right action.

Pluto and Mars in Capricorn can indeed bring rapid change, even violent change. Ruptures of relationships, broken bones, accidents, etc. Be vigilant and watchful, with a keen eye on all that is around you and coming at you. You still may not see it coming, but if you’re prepared and equipped, it will be less traumatic than if you’re not. Be prepared to dig very deep, if you haven’t already been. Dig deep into the shadows of your darkest corners, the suppressed memories you didn’t ever want to remember, the limitations you always knew you had but pretended you had conquered. The pretending and hiding and denying is coming to an end.

This transit is brief but nearly as powerful as transits can be. Breathe through these days with an open mind and a bold heart. Love is the essence of the entirety of existence. Although you may believe evil is present, it is merely a profound ignorance and rejection of love. Those who reject their essence proceed darkly into their own pits of despair, quite often dragging many down with them. Beware those who claim the truth without acceptance of all beings. Beware those who claim the truth without also claiming love. Beware all teachings, decisions, actions devoid of love at their core. It is the fuel that feeds our path to redemption and resurrection. It is the thread that weaves through the journey of our lives, holding us fast to hope, faith, and serenity.

This conjunction is one of reckoning, despair, struggle, anger, darkness, and grim reaping of past decisions. But there is a light in this passing union, and through complete and utter surrender to the forces that surround and embody us we can emerge from it as completely rebirthed souls on our journey to enlightenment. Perhaps through others dear to us we can find a spark that ignites and guides us forward together, reaching toward the gold ring, as it were.

It is time to heed the counsel our darkest shadows have to teach us, determine right course of action, and ignite the spark that will explode our inner fires into the realms of new awakenings, new accomplishments, new journeys, rising from the ashes as though a phoenix, soaring beyond anywhere we ever could have imagined before.

Do this work and you will sail through this intact. Watch your tempers, calm your anxieties, relax your nervous systems. Find activities that nurture these things. Sleep longer, drink less, walk more, quietly stretch or do yoga, swim in calm waters, drink more water, absorb more sunshine, breathe deeply often. These are the pathways through this labyrinth.

Believe it implicitly
Love is tranquility
If you don’t know that
Then nothing is known.

– Robert Hunter

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Mars conjunct Saturn in Capricorn (April 2, 2018)

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Complex Simple, by Wassily Kandinsky, 1939

Mars and Saturn respectively imply action and discipline, violence and crossed boundaries, accidents and authority, justice and karma. Together in Capricorn they are a force to be reckoned with. On the chart of the United States, for instance, they were aspecting each other in one form or another during the battle of Wounded Knee, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb, the assassinations of both Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., and on 9/11/2001. These are all horrific events, but it shows the breadth of impact and the roles they can play on authority figures, buildings, violence, and justice. Saturn teaches us lessons whether we want to learn them or not. And Mars shakes it all up.

What’s important is to understand that there are always lessons to learn, and sometimes it’s better to learn them the hard way. Following our path and being open to positive change is critical, despite the fact we might want things to stay just the way they are. The evolutionary lesson of this signature is to ascertain exactly what our goals are so we can work toward them with determination and perseverance. This is a fusion of hard work and endurance, but one that requires diligent foresight and wisdom. Mars can be rash and imprudent, forgetting to determine exactly what action is best before taking it. Mars can also be harsh, full of ruptures and trauma, sometimes aggressive or violent. Saturn is structure, both physical and intangible. This combination can bring shocks to our daily structured lives, disrupting what semblance of routine we have. It is indeed a vortex demanding our attention on many fronts. These two will show us what they can do, we just have to be watchful and aware of our own actions. This means we need to be very careful that we don’t take our authority for granted and abuse it in any way. If you are a leader or teacher or parent, don’t get caught up in anger toward your students, children, co-workers, or followers during this time. And regarding physical structure, this can be buildings or our bones. There can be accidents that break down structures of any kind. Be cautious and prudent during this time.

Collectively, this can bring authorities to their knees. Saturn represents authorities of all kinds in our lives: governments, banks, parents, teachers, leaders, etc. We shall see just which leaders are being challenged. Already there are plenty of them grappling with karmic debts needing to be paid. Let’s hope none of them choose to create more bad karma through new acts of warfare or violence.

Stay calm and carry on, as the saying goes. It’s a time to breathe deep, focus on our strengths for positive change, and not erupt in reactionary anger when we are faced with challenges. Karma can be a bitch, but not so much if we are prepared to face it. Beware not to burn important bridges! Instead, take wise action, keep your nose to the grindstone, stay focused, and work hard. Saturn rewards those who abide in universal Truth. It is about aligning to what is best for you in the long run. Stay the course!

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Mars in Capricorn (Mar 17 – May 16)

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Castle and Sun, by Paul Klee

The battle for credible authority! Hot off the heels of learning how to believe in our own power—and learning the power of belief—now is the ultimate test to see if that power has merit. Mars in Capricorn brings a level of credibility to how we take control of things. In many ways it can manifest an actual test to see if we have what it takes to be an authority in whatever it is we do. Just be mindful not to let aggression stand in the way of your strength.

Life seems to always be testing us, from anger management to death and loss. But this transit is about how we build our foundation of authority in our own lives with patience and determination. If we have made mistakes or done people wrong in the past, this is a good time to own up to them. When faced with a difficult task or a steep climb to succeed, this transit can really give us that alignment and sense of courage to make it where we aim to go. But only if we are willing to make the necessary adjustments, design a valuable and credible strategy, and stick by both of them with discipline. If you have been waiting and waiting to test your leadership, hoping others will listen and take you seriously, this is the time to make that happen.

Collectively, this may bring a lot of previously recognized leaders to their knees. It is indeed a test of strength and merit; does someone deserve what power they have? If someone has been dominant and in control, but their legitimacy and validity is questionable at best, this transit can humble them and wipe out that illusive strength and authority they thought they had. We may see leaders being called out on false claims or boundaries crossed. Their ethical and moral standards may not be as pure as they led us to believe.

A very valuable two month period to take control of our own lives and step into the ring of authority we know we have inside. We learned about how to believe in ourselves over these last two months, now it is time to put that belief in ourselves to the test. Go outside and show the world that you are worthy, credible, and strong. Recognize the power you have to take yourself seriously and for others to take you seriously. If what you do isn’t something that others will easily take seriously, this is the time to transcend our insecurities and embody the inner strength that has been sleeping within. Through honest alignment with universal ethics and morals, patient determination, and believing in ourselves, despite what others may say or do, we will step into a role of confidence, authority, and leadership for the right reasons: to teach, mentor, and help bring the world to a better place, which is the greatest success of all!

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Scorpio

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The deepest depths of Gaia’s oceans crawling with undiscovered life. Waters cold and dark, easily mistaken for another world, are the essence of Pluto’s domain, Hades’ haven. Lurking just above these nethers lie creatures with phosphorescent beams of light probing up through miles of muted silence into the corners of our past, guiding us where we need to go, giving light where there was only darkness. Sweeping around our memory and confusion demanding we envelope ourselves in it, the revelations rain down upon our psyches and bathe us in the Sacred Mysteries. Awakening to brighter seas and faster tides, we greet the swarming masses of myriad life all around us with vibrant awe and wonder. How dark must we go, how deep must we see, how lost must we feel before the doors of the denizens of the Underworld open to our new birth? What ghastly grim reaping must we endure before we can know serenity? The Shadows of our consciousness stretch far back beyond our mother’s face. The realms unseen are not for the faint of heart. Not enough is not an option. Too much is Scorpio’s tune. When pain seeps in, expect more. When fear haunts you, expect more. The gloves come off and the bells ring. Your escapades through the dark nights of your soul find you at last on the shores of the freedom and opportunities of Sagittarius. The revelations gleaming from your experiences of having gone astray wash over you like warm ecstasy and exotic nectar. Quiet your mind and swim in the clear vast lagoons of tranquility. There will be battles still, but your valor has bestowed an honor upon you that you’ve never known.

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Saturn in the First Quadrant

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Saturn in His Chariot, Artist Unknown

Saturn in the First House: We think we are in charge and can discipline everyone. And we might be. Saturn is the leader. Saturn is the mentor. Saturn is the authority. We also may be afraid of taking the stand we feel we want to take. The first house is the beginning of new cycles in this life, what we need to learn for the first time in a long time. It is what we have come here charged to do. It is the combustible energy of two atoms colliding. The fire that drives us forward and gives us strength to stand up for what we believe is right and to fight against what we believe is wrong. This is the signature of the determination of Will. These are the leaders of movements that shake the world. Mentors that people look up to in awe because of their raw energy and grounded determination. But sometimes their determination and hardheaded convictions can go too far and bring violent ruptures or trauma. These people are often those who died by the sword in a past life. Their zealous leadership may end them up in jail for standing up for a cause. Guilt arises here out of recognition of one’s aggressive nature and hot temper, perhaps having been the bully. It can also be the signature of those not ready to stand up and take charge, doubting their inner drive. Take a stand! Lay down your doubt and know you have the charisma and inner fire to be bold and lead others. And if you’re overzealous and act before thinking, keep calm, chill out, and be productive through positivity. Temper your temper!

Saturn in the Second House: Here we have a robust capacity to manage our resources with discipline. However, we may instead mismanage those resources and be paying the price. One typically is well aware of when to spend and when not to spend, but as Saturn is both the rule maker and rule breaker, discipline can either be inherent or lacking. Discipline requires work, and sometimes we brush aside the work that needs done only to wait for a transit that teaches us that lesson the hard way. With these two earth energies (Taurus/Capricorn), there is a rigidity that seeks to encapsulate stability through repetition and lack of change so that nothing can go wrong. So, if things are managed properly they won’t go wrong, but mismanagement can bring financial setbacks, loss of personal belongings, or blows to their self-esteem. There can be an element of greed that will come back to bite them if left unchecked. They also may need time and lessons in life to teach them to believe in themselves. Self-doubt can run deep here. But if they’ve harnessed their inner authority, this can be the ultimate money manager, the financial guru, especially with their own money. They are, at their finest, masters of resource protection. It is also possible for these people to cross boundaries sexually or have boundaries crossed sexually towards them. They may have been the victim of sexual abuse by an elder male as a child, or the perpetrator of such abuse as an adult. Respect and honor the morals and ethics of Truth. Align your dignity with a disciplined approach to taking good care of yourself and your resources and your journey will be bountiful.

Saturn in the Third House: Play! Stop! Play! Stop! Play! Stop! Never quite sure if it’s okay to be the life of the party, these people can hold back from having fun because it makes them feel guilty. “There’s work to be done! Why are you wasting your time playing!” Yet despite this caveat, they are solid learners who structure their lives around a disciplined approach to gathering knowledge and learning about life. But they can doubt their own knowledge and education, thinking they don’t have the authority and understanding they need to succeed in life. They may have a gruff voice and seem stern and strict. They’re making sure you don’t forget about the work that needs to be done. It may be they spoke up in a past life and it didn’t go so well. It may be they crossed a boundary or two in this life by speaking up, too. Methodical in their phrasing of sentences, perhaps renowned for their writing or public speaking abilities, these folks can be masters of the word, both spoken and written. It may be hard, however, for them to believe they’re as good as they truly are at it. For Saturn can make it hard for us to take ourselves seriously where it is placed. Additionally, their reputation can be two-fold: at once brilliant and a liar. Crossing boundaries to see how far one can go, as Saturn is wont to do, can lead one down the road of talking a big talk, saying untrue or mean things. They need to bite their tongue and temper their talking. In its finest essence, these are the responsible studiers of eclectic knowledge. The A-students. The law writers. The editors. The master linguists!

 

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Moon in Taurus

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Garden of Earthly Delights, Triptych by Hieronymus Bosch, oil on panels, 1490-1510 (click for center panel detail)

Life needs to be just the way you like it. Food, surroundings, music, people, you name it. If it stimulates your senses in a comforting way, there’s little holding you back from indulgence. Build your nest, settle in to your pleasures, and indulge! Go ahead! You have worked hard to sustain your needs in these areas, now it is time to enjoy them. But nobody better tell you it has to change! Oh no, that’s not happening! Nothing is changing. The couch, the snacks, the safe haven, the music that’s playing, the art on your walls. They stay right where they are! Be mindful that your indulgences don’t take you down the wrong path, though. These can get to extremes, especially with Moon in Taurus in the 9th or 12th house or aspected to Jupiter or Neptune. These bring excess and loss of control respectively.

You likely have a keen ear for fine music, or are an accomplished or aspiring musician. Maybe you have a desire to cook, build things, play with clay or dirt. There is tremendous creativity in the reserves of the Taurian Bull! It is very possible that these are means to tapping into and processing your emotions. If you’re unaware of any desires such as these, perhaps it is time to consider one of them. For it is the creative force that brings us closer to ourselves and to Great Spirit.

Do you own land? Does your family? Your mother’s family? Did you grow up on a farm? Are you a realtor? You have a tendency to believe land is a sacred investment, a resource of tremendous value. And not just land, everything you own is very important, and how you got to where you are. Your self-sufficiency and self-reliance is a trait you know all about. You’re doing life your way to get what you desire. And you’re probably pretty good at it.

You have a sensitivity, however, that is not so cavalier as “doing life your way to get what you desire.” You’re possibly the most sensual person you know. You seek to intimately touch your partner, not just dive right in. There is so much emphasis on the subtlety of affection that any advances made trying to skip over them is lost on you. You lose interest quickly. Taking the time to brush your fingers across their skin from their head to their toes is where it’s at! This isn’t to say that you even NEED someone else to do this, though. You don’t. You know all about how to take care of yourself, and not just financially or gastronomically. Yes, you’re very self-sufficient in your sensuality, too. Don’t be ashamed. Pleasure can be experienced alone.

Delicious, warm, cozy, sensual, material, fixed, stable, self-reliant, and absolutely desirous of all things related to these. Just remember to share your thirst for affection and stimulation of your senses with all those you encounter. And share your belongings, your material wealth, your refined taste for the good things in life. Give back to others in need, be the empowering caregiver you’re so adept at being. Just be careful you don’t spend every penny on that 1961 Bordeaux, or that brand new Range Rover, or the fanciest house in town. Frugality is a virtue for those who overindulge.

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